“Life has a way of placing what is right for you in front of you, and I have never felt more fulfilled.”
Just a couple of years ago, Kristina Sheldon, a registered nurse at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital, watched her young son playing with their family’s dogs as she cuddled her newborn daughter. It inspired her to write a story and, after months of research, she published the book in November of 2022.
“‘My Very First Friend’ is a rhyming picture book about the milestones our little ones meet with their furry best friend at their side,” Kristina explains.
During its first week on Amazon, the book became a number-one bestseller across multiple categories and spent several days as a number-one new release.
“I was overwhelmed by the love and support I received from family, friends and coworkers,” Kristina says. “Motherhood is a wild ride and has given me the strength to pursue dreams I didn’t know existed.”
Kristina’s greatest joy since publishing “My Very First Friend” has been having other families approach her and say that their child recognizes themselves in her book.
“The heartfelt and sincere reviews I receive from parents that have enjoyed my work with their children are so validating and special.”
Kristina didn’t have writing – or even nursing – in mind when she started college. While studying biology, she participated in a mission trip to host clinics with local physicians in some of the poorest areas in Lima, the capital of Peru. That’s where she found her calling as a nurse.
In her 10 years with our ministry, Kristina has worked as a patient care tech, earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and began her career as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit (ICU). She became the weekend charge nurse after her son was born and now works weekends in the post-anesthesia care unit.
“Working for Bon Secours allows me to have the work/life balance to stay home with my children, fill my cup as a nurse and to pursue passion projects such as publishing children’s books.”
Writing this children’s book has launched new opportunities as well. Kristina has participated in fundraisers for the Henrico Humane Society and Richmond SPCA, spearheaded a collection of 100-plus books for the RVA Reads literacy program for underserved preschools, joined a local farmer’s market and met a small, supportive group of local authors that share a passion for early childhood literacy.
Kristina adds that her second book will be out soon.
“My Wildflower: Nature-Inspired Affirmations for Little Girls’ is inspired by my fiercely independent toddler, who I am thankful to say comes from a line of strong, independent women with the biggest and kindest of hearts.”
May is National Nurses Month. To all our nurses, we thank you for the excellent care you provide our patients every day! Read more of our nurses’ stories to celebrate.
Also, if you’re a nurse or a health care professional, we invite you to explore and pursue a career with us.